Open Your Heart...
The desire to open my heart is what initially led to my discovery of Reiki. I had tried yoga, breath, meditation, dance, somatic therapy, and more with some success but still felt somewhat numb - especially when it came to giving and receiving love. I knew I had not always felt this way - I vaguely recalled memories of having a heart that knew how to freely give and receive love. What happened, I wondered? It has been a long path since then, and by no means is my heart a wide open channel, but through Reiki and self-exploration, I have made progress I am proud of. For those of you who feel numb, or are struggling with giving or receiving love, here's what you need to know: 1) YOU ARE NOT ALONE 2) THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU 3) YOU ARE WHOLE. Trauma, rejection, heartbreak, not being authentically loved for who you are (possibly ever), anxiety, medication, disconnection from body - these are just a few of the reasons why you may have found yourself here. Something else you should know: How you experience and feel love may be totally different from how others (or the media) describe what love should feel like.
Here are a few things to consider from an energetic prospective:
There may be a specific block associated with your heart chakra. Your body may have created this block as a mechanism of self-protection. Removing this block will allow you to start feeling more into your heart space.
If your lower chakras (root, sacral, and/or solar plexus) are blocked or imbalanced, it may prevent you from free expression from your heart chakra. Some examples of issues that live in the lower chakras are: not feeling safe or secure (either in environment, body, or soul), low self-esteem or lack of confidence, being unsure of who you truly are. Resolving issues in the lower chakras may automatically allow your heart chakra to open.
If you are are someone who has a "busy mind" or "lives in your head", you are likely disconnected from your body. Since "feeling" love is so much a bodily process, reconnecting with your body and grounding into your lower chakras will help your heart chakra to open. This is done by releasing energy from the upper chakras so you can take a recess from your busy mind, which will allow you to connect and ground more fully into your body.
Interested in learning more? See how a Reiki session can help.
What else can I do?
Find ways to connect with your body. Your body contains infinite wisdom, and knows how best to guide you.
Put on your favorite music and dance. Don't think about what you're doing, just go for it. This is also called "intuitive movement" or "Ecstatic dance".
Feel your emotions. Next time you feel an emotion, pause. Try not to numb it with scrolling, TV, food, etc. Allow the emotion to be present. In order to feel the good emotions in our body, we have to be able to feel the difficult ones as well.
Breathe! Breathwork enables us to slow down, relax, and gently connect with our bodies.
Cultivate a yoga practice.
Try guided meditations that focus on the heart.
Cultivate a loving kindness or Metta meditation practice. You may feel very little at first, but this is a powerful practice that will pay off with diligence.
Yoga Nidra. This practice focuses on planting a seed within the heart space.
Cultivate a Gratitude practice (simple hack: write down 3 things you are grateful for every night before you go to bed).
Some Simple Exercises
Close your eyes. Place your hand over your heart. Breathe in and out of your heart space for 5 minutes.
Have someone you want to feel more connected with place their hand over your heart space or heart. Close your eyes. Visualize love coming out of their heart, traveling through their body, out of their hands and into your heart.
Close your eyes. Anchor to your breath. Visualize a light in your heart space. Notice its color, temperature, and texture. Add any of the following affirmations (pick what resonates!) to any of the above exercises:
"I am Love"
"I am Whole"
"I give and receive Love abundantly"
"I am worthy of receiving love"
"I am grateful"
"I send compassion to others with ease"
"My heart is open"